Staying On The Problem

ByBig Pink

Staying On The Problem

 

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
Albert Einstein

The recent flurries of activity regarding the mis-governance of the Scottish Football authorities gave us some hope that perhaps the dam was about to be breached. Sadly, this has not proved to be the case. The independent TOG report, which highlighted the deeply flawed nature of the LNS inquiry and drew attention to the anomalous activities of the SFA in awarding Rangers FC a European competition licence in 2011, moved the discussion beyond the shores of Scotland. Subsequently, a letter from UEFA to lawyers representing Celtic shareholders reportedly confirmed that the licence had been awarded in contravention of the rules and protocols of the competition.

The TOG report concluded that there was a prima facie case suggesting that LNS had been misled, or misinformed. It suggested that Nimmo Smith may have been misled by SFA President Campbell Ogilvie when he gave evidence about the EBTs in operation at Ibrox, and that the SFA were unable or unwilling to ensure fair play in the game in Scotland. With respect to sanctions, LNS concluded that all EBTs were lawful and open to other clubs. This was of course factually incorrect, since despite the suspicious and comical FUBAR of the last-minute change to the terms of reference designed to exclude DOS EBTs, LNS still had sight of them.

The facts are pretty damning for the authorities. Rules were dispensed with over the licence issue, during which there appeared to be a curious request (to Rangers!) by the Chief Executive of the SFA for ‘permission’ to explain the SFA decision. On the SPFL side, terms of reference mentioned above were altered at the onset of the LNS inquiry to allow LNS to exclude the DOS EBTs, a strong indication that LNS was not only misled, but that he was deliberately led to the conclusion that the authorities desired.

The facts are there. So too is a very strong suspicion that evidence was falsified, and that erroneous conclusions were arrived at. The SFA/SPFL/MSM response? Silence. The same people who hold up their hands in horror at the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russia for alleged state-sponsored doping COMPLETELY ignore the cover up by our own authorities in the matter of systematic cheating and financial doping on our own doorstep.

The SFA, SPFL, the clubs, and their little helpers in the press are happy to sit by and enable cheating. Why? Because they see it as in their own interests?

If so. it must be personal self interest. What began as an understandable fear that tens of thousands of paying customers would be lost to the game has evolved into a trousers-at-the-ankles, Rixian farce of a cover-up.

There has been not one sentence of coherent rebuttal received from any of the above constituencies. Neither the SFA, the SPFL, the media, nor the clubs have even attempted to give us any justification for what went on.

The SFA are so rudderless and devoid of purpose that the Chief Executive feels justified in telling a group of people that he wouldn’t be motivated to do anything in response to systematic cheating, and an unremarkable former journalist turned PR operative can exclaim in a perfect study of un-self awareness, “I AM THE SFA!!” – whilst the President of that body smiles in senile obeisance, or childlike ignorance.

Yet those who present facts and ask serious questions about their behaviour are portrayed as bampots? If you weren’t a witness to this stuff as it happens, you would scarcely believe it.

There has been not one sentence of coherent rebuttal received from any of the above constituencies. Neither the SFA, the SPFL, the media, nor the clubs have even attempted to give us any justification for what went on.

Celtic have been (somewhat unfairly on occasion) on the wrong end of criticism from those of us who see the honesty of the game as paramount. They are only one club in a host of clubs whose interests have been crapped on by the failure of governance in the game in Scotland – and yet have done nothing to demonstrate their distaste for the rulebreaking.

David Murray may well have started this, but he fled the scene and lost his influence at Hampden long before the finish. Consequently, the clubs have failed the fans – wilfully so.

The Celtic issue though is more complicated. Unfortunately for them, they have a larger, and commensurately more powerful support than most – and that power was exercised by a group of their own shareholders who sought their own path to truth and justice. The fact that those shareholders gathered compelling evidence of wrongdoing at the SFA, took the trouble to set up official communications with the club, and that they then passed on their concerns along with that compelling evidence – certainly compelling enough to UEFA it seems – speaks volumes for their determination.

Our clubs are just not as invested in sporting integrity as the rest of us

That put Celtic in an uncomfortable place, but the fact that not one word of substance has emanated from them in support of those shareholders – despite the words of encouragement they may or may not have issued privately to the guys who took up the cause on the club’s behalf – is a plain enough message that they like their fellow clubs are just not as invested in sporting integrity as the rest of us.
My wholehearted and comprehensive contempt though is not reserved just for Celtic, despite the moral deficiency which has seen them ignore the excellent efforts of their shareholders to compel them to do the right thing.

My contempt is applied equally and liberally among all the clubs, for they are most deserving of it. We needn’t feel betrayed by the lackeys who run the SFA and SPFL. They do the bidding of the clubs – and the clubs alone.

Nor should we see the media as chief villains. The same media routinely print untruths and misinformation on a daily basis to deliberately mislead us on far more important issues than football. Hardly a betrayal from them – just western democracy.

The clubs tell us that ‘we are all in this together’, but in reality their real attitude is ‘us and them’

Hampden Towers

Hampden Towers
©Reganco

But the clubs’ betrayal of the sport and the fans is by far the most serious of all. They will tell us that ‘we are all in this together’, but in reality their real attitude is an ‘us and them’ one, digging moats around the boardroom to better defend themselves from fan participation. Based on the loyalty they know we all have for the colours, they think that with time this thing will go away, that the natives will calm down and the sophisticates in the boardrooms will see the order of things return to normal. One thing is certain – they certainly can’t all sign up Brendan Rogers (or equivalent) as manager each and every season ticket round!

But that is the game they are playing. Playing for time. Time that they hope will cloud the issue, to make it recede as a morning mist, and disappear completely in time for a free business lunch – business as usual.
Like Einstein says, being ready to spend a little more time on a problem pays dividends. Those with the wind of truth behind them don’t have to be particularly clever. They do have to be willing to spend as much time as necessary on the problem, and let the wind take them to where they need to be.

And they will get there, because those vested interests that deny the truth have (as we have shown) NOTHING to say. It is only a matter of time and patience – and staying on the problem.

It needn’t get nasty, it needn’t become abusive, it needn’t become complicated – but it might well get loud.

 

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

595 Comments so far

Big PinkPosted on12:17 am - Aug 3, 2016


wottpi

Excellent points. Press complicity with ‘the man’ – as the late great Lou Reed would have said – is a deep seated cancer that has spread into areas far deeper than that of Scottish football.

I like to hark back to the good old days, but on closer inspection, the good old days were nothing of the sort. For nearly eighty years, a tacitly complicit Scottish press almost completely ignored an institutionalised sectarian employment policy at Ibrox. 

Further back, there is the Zinoviev letter ‘scandal’ that was tantamount to a coup d’etat in this country. For every courageous and groundbreaking piece of journalism in my lifetime, there have been a hundred propagandists working for vested interests of the few against the interests of the many. A fraction of a percent of investigative journalism breakthroughs are what they headline on and display as their Integrity Credentials when defending the ‘freedoms of the press’, but in fact what they are defending is their right to corrupt.

Whether you are a football fan working for sporting integrity, or a working stiff seeking greater freedoms, the press is there as the paid hijacker of minds and shaper of popular opinion.

Not invincible of course, especially in a pluralistic age like the current one based on accessible web technologies. Still hard to beat though.

As the printed media die their slow death by strangulation, I expect to see renewed pressure to deregulate TV and Radio news output. This almost happened before the 2010 election with a deal between James Murdoch and Cameron which had to be aborted in the face of the phone-hacking scandal. 

Postponed for now, but almost certain to come up again as Fleet Street loses its grip

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AuldheidPosted on12:57 am - Aug 3, 2016


wottpiAugust 2, 2016 at 22:50 2 1 i Rate This 
UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 2, 2016 at 18:44
Appreciate where you are coming from but it a bit of an apples and pears type situation.
Rangers seemed to have been paying their declared PAYE,NI VAT etc to Hector during the SDM, years.
The tax owed via the DOS and EBT were obviously in dispute
====================
The DOS EBTS were not in dispute in spite of that impressions being given in the half yearly accounts and cultivated in the media at that time. That’s when bills the had not “crystallised” whatever that meant.
See my previous post re 21st March 2011.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:27 am - Aug 3, 2016


WOTTPIAUGUST 2, 2016 at 22:50 
My guess is that a different set of circumstances resulted in a different approach.
=============================

My guess is the different circumstances were simply that Hearts were deemed disposable and Rangers were not, therefore HMRC allowed Rangers to continue not paying tax until Rangers themselves held their hands up.  Only at that point did HMRC make a move. Of course, HMRC may have wished to act against Rangers much sooner, but Scotland as a nation does not allow for that to happen.  When I say as a nation I mean decision makers and those with influence within Scottish society.  ‘Rangers’ are clearly regarded as some kind of national treasure, to be preserved at any cost. No other Scottish football club is. The then Scottish First Minister showed a frightening level of support for Rangers given how much tax had been withheld,  yet did nothing for Hearts, and he is a Hearts fan! We all have our views on how certain aspects of this saga have been dealt with by Scottish Judges. The media rushed to tell us a certain Judge is a Celtic fan, before he sat on a case involving Rangers. Even people within the media who are not Rangers fans are not permitted, or are perhaps too scared to truly speak their minds on the subject.  Only online bloggers can offer an alternative view and the decision makers and influencers dismiss them as cranks and do not allow them a genuine voice. 

Ultimately football comes down to what happens on the field of play. Rangers are getting every bit of support and then some from the media and the football authorities to make this season a success. We can only wait and see just what that support will lead to because their team is in no position to walk the league like the glory days under the Bank of Scotland when it was in Scottish hands. 

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wottpiPosted on7:54 am - Aug 3, 2016


AULDHEIDAUGUST 3, 2016 at 00:57

As is sometimes the case short posts don’t cover all angles fully.
My point to UTH was that the DOS EBTS were in dispute up to the point Rangers got legal advice to settle in early March 2011.
The actual bill was presented to Rangers on  20 May 2011 and the Sheriff officers turned up on 11 August 2011.
I see nothing wrong with that process and no evidence of bias.
Rangers were billed, didn’t pay, HMRC took action ( that would have taken time to organise). Three months seems reasonable to me.
Vlad was given both  warnings and time to pay an earlier outstanding £200 k tax bill long before winding up orders started to come through the door at Tynecastle.
Why an arrestment order was used  for the DOS bill as opposed to a winding up order, I am not sure.
However I am sure there is a reason for that given the nature of the tax due and it may not necessarily be related to some form of establishment club bias.

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Johnbud78Posted on7:56 am - Aug 3, 2016


What has happened to journalism? The focus of SFM is, obviously, on the sports hacks in Scotland, but the more I read about events internationally them more I lose any faith I ever had in being told the truth via traditional mediums! 

The post by Highlander earlier in the thread, which I tweeted btw highlander 10, shows that all knew what was going on and now you can’t get any of them to even discuss the subject? Tom English on Twitter this morning said, agian, we need to move on?? Plenty of people put valid q’s to him, politely and he ignores them all! KJ, worst of all imo, is a grenade merchant, only looks for reaction and will not engage in debate or conversation. 

Is this what they imagined their careers to be? Is this what we as a society accept? The more I try to engage the more frustrated I get. Upside, my respect for Res12 guys, Tris and BP, Phil and JF and PL just grows and grows. How you keep at it in the face of such odds is inspiring 04

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AllyjamboPosted on9:39 am - Aug 3, 2016


Johnbud78August 3, 2016 at 07:56

I, too, have noticed English’s tweets and found it noticeable that he isn’t using the sound byte ‘move on’ but has introduced his own take on it, ‘move beyond’, as though, by doing so, he sets himself apart/above the run of the mill hacks. A very poor effort and one that leaves me asking why? Why is he bothering to put a new sheen on an old deflection tactic? I’d suggest it’s got something to do with the desire to promote ‘TRFC’ and the ‘OF’ brand in a more positive light for the new season than the non-gullible are allowing.

He also describes the OC/NC debate as ‘old hat’, and fair enough, it has been going on for a rather long time; but who’s to blame for that? The supporters who seek the truth of the matter, and for that truth to be published without fear or favour, or the authorities and assorted media hacks who skirt around, ignore even, this huge issue?

And it is a huge issue, and not only in terms of the bragging rights for the supporters, for, in not scotching the lie, a myriad of crooks and charlatans have been able to cream off supporters’ and investors’ money, money that wouldn’t have been there, at the level it has, to entice the crooks and charlatans otherwise. In the same way that the ‘OF’ brand is seen to ‘sell’, the continuation myth did it’s job and sold ‘TRFC’ in a way the truth never could.

There is also the fact that, if a football club cannot die, or there are sneaky ways around that death (created by a charlatan), then there is nothing to stop any club in the future deliberately overspending with a cunning plan in mind to stiff creditors without the risk of death!

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upthehoopsPosted on9:53 am - Aug 3, 2016


ALLYJAMBOAUGUST 3, 2016 at 09:39 
There is also the fact that, if a football club cannot die, or there are sneaky ways around that death (created by a charlatan), then there is nothing to stop any club in the future deliberately overspending with a cunning plan in mind to stiff creditors without the risk of death!
=======================

I my view there is something to stop any club not called ‘Rangers’ who play in Ibrox from doing it. It is the fact that they are not ‘Rangers’ because otherwise any other club will be allowed to die. 

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wottpiPosted on10:00 am - Aug 3, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 3, 2016 at 07:27

I think you are getting a wee bit carried away with regard to the timelines.

HMRC went after Rangers for both the DOS and EBT schemes. If they were the favoured establishment club why did Hector even bother doing that in the first place?

As has been argued there may well be other bigger targets out there in football land for Hector to pursue on EBT and tax avoidance schemes. Some people think that Rangers, far from being favoured, were actually an easier/softer target for HMRC due to the mismanagement of the EBTS and the existence of side letters.

Why would HMRC not take that opportunity to go for a soft underbelly as opposed to possibly battling out against a large EPL club and all that would entail?

As we know a great deal of legal wrangling was involved about both DOS and EBTs. Partial issues around the EBT scheme is still ongoing.
Yes it took a number of years but Rangers were finally banged to rights on the DOS scheme.
HMRC billed them and took action. Given the reported delaying tactics, hiding of evidence and obfuscation from Rangers  I cannot see what HMRC could have done differently to bring the matter to a conclusion sooner.

As far as I am aware during the SDM years Rangers paid the rest of their declared taxes as required. Therefore no action was required from HMRC on such matters.

We surely cannot harangue  HMRC for not doing their duty when they had no other grounds to go after the Ibrox club?

Whyte took over the club in May 2011.

When he stopped paying PAYE, NI, VAT etc I do not know but clearly before Whyte filed for administration in February 2013 HMRC were on the case and aware of the situation as they were ready with their application to appoint their own administrator.

Therefore nine months passed between Whyte taking over and administration.

If you allow time for Whyte to get his feet under the table he may not have stopped paying taxes until the end of June 2011.

HMRC may then have questioned what was going on in July / August 2011. At the same time they know they are looking for the DOS money. 

A few questions and warnings of the same type given to Vlad/Hearts re the non payment of PAYE, NI, VAT etc take us towards the end of 2011 and by then HMRC knows the writing is on the wall.  

Administration was on the cards. winding up order or not, it was just a case of who pulled the trigger and when.

From a political point of view far better for HMRC let Whyte do it himself than be accused of having a vendetta against the club having already hounded them for the DOS and EBTs. 
 
I have no doubt SDM was in with the ‘Edinburgh Establishment’ as put forward in the wee film posted the other day but HMRC have simply gone after the money in a fashion that I believe was without fear or favour.

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AuldheidPosted on10:05 am - Aug 3, 2016


WottpI
Two points. Th delay was agreed between HMRC and RFC  after a discussion  when liability accepted.
It wasnt that it took 6 weeks to issue the demand. In fact after deciding they had let  the matter drift it took HMRC 15 days to issue  the  bill.  On that basis there would have been a tax bill arriving on 5th April.
How  a  liability described as potential  in RFC accounts of 1St April 2011 and subect to continuing discussion to  become a demand 4  days later is interesting to say the least.
The impact on the ability of  SFA to grant that UEFA licence on the basis tat it was in dispute is  very significant.

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upthehoopsPosted on10:15 am - Aug 3, 2016


Re Tom English and his recent Tweets. Someone just posted this to him, stating they are happy to acknowledge Rangers as the same club as long as King follows up on this vow. To be fair to English he agrees with the poster it is a fair point. 

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AuldheidPosted on10:32 am - Aug 3, 2016


WottpI
Two points. The delay was agreed between HMRC and RFC  after a discussion  when liability accepted.
It wasnt that it took 6 weeks to issue the demand. In fact after deciding they had let  the matter drift it took HMRC 15 days to issue  the  bill.  On that basis there would have been a tax bill arriving on 5th April.
How  a  liability described as potential  in RFC accounts of 1St April 2011 and subect to continuing discussion to  become a demand 4  days later would have been interesting to say the least.
The impact on the ability of  SFA to be able to justify  granting  that UEFA licence on the basis that the liability  was in dispute is  very significant as was how, when it stopped being potentialb on 20th May, it became postponed by end of June.
I don’t blame HMRC they wanted the bill paid and RFC kept in business but in the foregoing lies the explanation how a club with not a pot to piss in were able to get a UEFA licence in the face of Financial Fair Play rules designed to stop clubs gaining a sporting and financial advantage over rivals who were playing fair.

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John ClarkPosted on10:45 am - Aug 3, 2016


Johnbud78August 3, 2016 at 07:56
‘…..Tom English on Twitter this morning said, agian, we need to move on?? ‘
__________
Ah, Johnbud78, What do you expect the gombeen man to do? Admit now that he is on the same level as the rest of the home-bred hacks, and fits easily into the BBC Scotland’s vision of what constitutes a ‘reliable’ , unchallenging supporter of the party line?
He knows what the truth is, just as the  others do. It is to his shame and disgrace that he is a willing accomplice in the furthering of  attempts to get us to sell our integrity as other have so cheaply sold theirs. 
Like the rest of them, English has no answer to the charges made against the Football Authorities and the SMSM’s complicity in not investigating, not asking questions, not checking out such stories s they have been told  by those authorities, not having a go at Campbell Christie about his , we allege, conflicted, state.
He stands condemned as merely acting as distributor of PR material and cheerleader for the ‘let’s all move on brigade, and to hell with Sport and Integrity in football governance’.
Doubly bad cess to him, and his like.

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wottpiPosted on11:23 am - Aug 3, 2016


AULDHEIDAUGUST 3, 2016 at 10:32

And that is my point. There are competing interests with regard to the whole situation that was ongoing at the time, therefore it cannot be said they all come together to make a conjoined conspiracy.

As you say HMRC may have seen benefits of giving Rangers a bit more leeway to keep them going and delivering a better chance of getting paid.

The alternative is that Hector may have believed Vlad and Hearts were better suited to windng up orders to get things moving and keep the cash flowing.

Like I said to UTH apples and pears, horses for courses etc, but not necessarily favoured treatment for one over another.

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Corrupt officialPosted on11:54 am - Aug 3, 2016


JOHN CLARKAUGUST 3, 2016 at 10:45 
Johnbud78August 3, 2016 at 07:56‘…..Tom English on Twitter this morning said, agian, we need to move on?? 
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
   Like a 3 year old with chocolate smeared over his face, and denying being at the biscuit tin. No real knowledge of real life, and the acceptance of smoking gun evidence. Naive and innocent but not so much as to realise he did wrong, but brassing it out in the hope that his father is as daft as him. Totally bewildered as to why instead of the expected rebuke, his father is in tears, wetting himself, at the chocolate dribbling down his chin, and repeated denials. We hand him his wee shovel, and let him dig away until he realises he has dug full circle, and popped up inside his own nappy.
   But he’s only three.
  For a grown man to act in this manner, is beyond my comprehension, and there is no latent humour in it. Only disgust. What were their parents doing when they were supposed to be raising a man?….Because they sure as hell failed !

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upthehoopsPosted on12:15 pm - Aug 3, 2016


WOTTPIAUGUST 3, 2016 at 10:00
==========================

IIRC our old friend Charlotte Fakes revealed Rangers stopped paying PAYE and N.I around September/October 2011. It was also revealed that the SFA and SPFL were appraised of that at the time.  So Rangers were allowed to continue not paying tax and N.I until February 2012. We have no way of knowing if HMRC would have moved had Whyte not made his move. In January 2012 Rangers sold Jelavic to Everton for £5M. Let’s just say they had managed to get £10M for him. That might have been enough to see Rangers through to the end of the season, without paying tax and N.I of course. Without the ten point deduction and impact of Administration they could have won the league. I feel I have every right to question the timeline and why HMRC sat back for so long on the non-payment of Tax/N.I.  I also question why the football authorities did nothing but that is just a complete waste of a few keyboards strokes. 

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goosygoosyPosted on12:24 pm - Aug 3, 2016


UPTHEHOOPS
AUGUST 3, 2016 at 07:27
 
WOTTPIAUGUST 2, 2016 at 22:50  My guess is that a different set of circumstances resulted in a different approach. =============================
Ultimately football comes down to what happens on the field of play. Rangers are getting every bit of support and then some from the media and the football authorities to make this season a success. We can only wait and see just what that support will lead to because their team is in no position to walk the league like the glory days under the Bank of Scotland when it was in Scottish hands.
 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 With the rejection of  Ashley,TRFC squandered their chance to get out of this mess.They are condemned  to penny pinch for the foreseeable future
The impact is already visible on the park
Honest mistakes will no doubt continue and go largely unreported by the press. But unless the volume of mistakes is stepped up significantly it will not be enough to compensate for lack of quality. Results will be well below what their fans demand. Most of them will walk eventually
Death by a thousand cuts
That’s the only consolation

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jimlarkinPosted on12:26 pm - Aug 3, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 3, 2016 at 10:15 3 1 Rate This
Attachment Dave King Oldco
Re Tom English and his recent Tweets. Someone just posted this to him, stating they are happy to acknowledge Rangers as the same club as long as King follows up on this vow. To be fair to English he agrees with the poster it is a fair point.
……………………

The point is Tom English is happy to ‘agree’ with people who provide such evidence on Twitter.

what he is not willing to do, is agree with like minded callers on radio shows 
nor is he willing to state in print (newspaper columns) that Sevco and Rangers are two seperate clubs and that Sevco is a new club.

he is a coward who doesn’t want to end up like Brittny!

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wottpiPosted on1:18 pm - Aug 3, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 3, 2016 at 12:15

If they stopped paying, as you say in Sept/Oct, then they must have been dealt with in the exact way as many other clubs, including Hearts.

Sorry that we disagree  but a month here or there doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in my book.

As discussed with Audlheid a month here or there may have has an impact on footballing matters such as the timing of points deductions, licenses, letting players go etc but IMHO I doubt the bean counters at HMRC give a fig about that.

For example around the same time the continually troubled Portsmouth missed two agreed payments before a winding up order was issued.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/16706372 

Portsmouth went into Admin on 17 February 2012

So from non- payment to HMRC  to admin:-

September / October to February for Rangers
November to February for Portsmouth.

Regardless of the mechanisms of how they got there the result was the same. Pressure from HMRC over unpaid tax.

I suspect that as the issue of tax avoidance has gained more prominence over the last few years HMRC are even quicker to pull the trigger these days,  as per Bolton

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11672/10095291/bolton-wanderers-receive-winding-up-order-over-unpaid-vat-and-paye-bills 

The conduct of the footballing authorities is a different matter and on that I agree they were and are still bending over backwards to make things as easy as possible for the club from Govan.

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tykebhoyPosted on1:48 pm - Aug 3, 2016


 
UPTHEHOOPS
AUGUST 3, 2016 at 12:15
IIRC our old friend Charlotte Fakes revealed Rangers stopped paying PAYE and N.I around September/October 2011. It was also revealed that the SFA and SPFL were appraised of that at the time.  So Rangers were allowed to continue not paying tax and N.I until February 2012. We have no way of knowing if HMRC would have moved had Whyte not made his move.

 

Yes I think Whyte stopped paying HMRC around then as he had presumably hoped to fund payment from a European run.  

HMRC did act.  From memory RFC filed papers on the 13th February that they were about to suffer an insolvency event and they would be at CoS on the 15th to file for Admin http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-17015966 .  HMRC jumped the gun and applied for BDO to be appointed administrators on the 14th.  This appears to have caught Whyte with his trousers down as there are tales of a mad car dash on the M40 of RFC representatives trying to head off HMRC at the pass and get D&P installed and as we all know HMRC were thwarted.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it almost certainly would have been a lot better for Scottish Football had HMRC succeeded in having had BDO appointed then.  We don’t know for sure but its probable BDO would have stopped RFC completing the season one of the key aspects of the continuity myth generated by the 5WA TRFC supporters and the SMSM

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stevoPosted on1:53 pm - Aug 3, 2016


goosygoosy
August 2, 2016 at 22:48
Assuming Dundalk take over the seed position of the club they knocked out i.e. BATE Bor and Celtic get through against FC Astana they could  meet in the play off round

Dundalk retain their original seeding. They would only have taken on the seeding of BATE Borisov if that tie had been drawn before the previous round had been played – this only happens in the earliest qualifying rounds. (As it stands, BATE wouldn’t have been seeded anyway.) Celtic and Dundalk could indeed meet in the next round.

Celtic are seeded all the way through to the group stages, but they will need a good run in Europe this season or next to maintain that position, as their 16.86 coefficient points from 2012/13 expire after 5 years.

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AuldheidPosted on1:58 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Wottpi
Oh HMRC did give a fig. Access to CL was part of the strategy to get paid.
Why wait until a CL result came in before scheduling a meeting.?
It’s different from Hearts, very different and HMRC knew the dependency because RFC made it clear to them.
HMRC only lost patience in July when Wallace was signed having been told the week before RFC were skint.

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AuldheidPosted on2:18 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Wottpi
When I say skint I mean did not have the money to settle at that point in time. That would have changed with CL qualification, not immediately but enough to assure it could be before the year was out.
I am confident that when the veil is lifted the narrative I set out will stand up.

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AuldheidPosted on2:28 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Jim Larkin
Tom English is one of around 14 Journalists who got the evidence from SFM that the LNS Commission had not been supplied with all the requested documentation. That was Sep/Oct 2014. Like all recipients including SPL Board it has been ignored.
Subsequently one journo agreed the charge of non disclosure and consequences stood up but did not publish and another two one of whom one was spoon fed the info personally did not refute but neither published.
As I said earlier if you don’t write it down (or in this case publish on msm) it never happened,  but it did and it is the unwillingness to address that will be more culpable than the event itself.

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AuldheidPosted on2:35 pm - Aug 3, 2016


John Clark 10.45
Whatever else Campbell Christie may have done in his TU supporting life I doubt the SFA skullduggery can be added to that list.?

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easyJamboPosted on3:34 pm - Aug 3, 2016


@ Wottpi – RFC stopped paying PAYE / VAT / NIC from August 2011 onwards, according to D&P’s first report to creditors dated 5 April 2012.  The August date was also confirmed in the SFA’s investigation into RFC and Whyte, which was chaired by Gary Allan. Incidentally, these arrears should have been notified to the SFA in response to their request for information dated 19 September 2011.

The first “administration” order in respect of Hearts, requested by HMRC, was obtained on 8 August 2011, according to Companies House Records. 

There is no record of the “Winding Up” order ever being lodged at Companies House.  My recollection was that there was a threat of one being lodged around October 2012, which coincided with Sergejus Fedetovas issuing a warning that the club could be closed down imminently if fans didn’t support a share offer.  In the event, fans raised in excess of £1M which paid the outstanding bill and staved off Administration until June 2013.    

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easyJamboPosted on4:00 pm - Aug 3, 2016


On the subject of Companies House records there is an odd document that has been published today in respect of the Ashley owned “Rangers Retail Rights Ltd”.  The company is dormant, but has changed its name to “RR Rights Ltd”.  I wonder if it heralds a change in Ashley’s stance over the licensing and marketing of Rangers trademarks.

Edit: The record has also just published a story about a kit launch by Sports Direct

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-ready-launch-legal-bid-8552993#8umsOlZTqF68769T.97

Another document that was lodged last month by Hibs indicates that the club had issued over 10M new shares (worth just around £407,000) on 29 June, the day before its financial year end.  Hibs have been issuing new shares every month or two over the past 18 months in connection with the launch of a couple of share offers and the Hibernian Supporters Ltd (HSL) scheme for monthly pledges to buy new shares.  This is all part of Tom Farmer’s plan to allow 51% of the club to become “fan owned”

However the HSL scheme was only raising between £20,000-£25,000 a month, so the £407,000 figure is away out of step with other share issues.  There is no indication of who has taken up the bulk of the new shares.  It could be that a single investor or a number of new investors have been attracted to the club following their cup win.  The timing of the issue however suggests to me that the money was required by the club to cover its anticipated trading loss for season 2015/16.

Assuming the new shares are all in the hands of fans/new investors, the latest share issue means that 30.56% of the club is now outside the control of HFC Holdings ( T Farmer & R Petrie). At the start of the exercise HFC Holdings owned 98% of the club.

We may have to wait until their accounts are published to establish what has actually occurred.      

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Cluster OnePosted on4:43 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Sports Direct tycoon is preparing to put the kits on sale from Thursday despite not having permission.
Is this a smart move by sports Direct. You first have to put stock on the shelves for sale in order for them to become unsold stock.
It’s no good keeping the shirts in a box in a warehouse were no one can see them to buy or not buy them.
Sports Direct have a better argument to claim money back for unsold stock, that was actually put on shelves for sale.
Or am i way off the mark? 

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SmugasPosted on5:01 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Certainly, on a completely unscientific survey of ‘the bairns in the park’ the lack of a certain team top or colours is tangible, round my way at least.

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John ClarkPosted on5:09 pm - Aug 3, 2016


AuldheidAugust 3, 2016 at 14:35
‘…Whatever else Campbell Christie may have done in his TU supporting life I doubt the SFA skullduggery can be added to that list.?’
___________
Ha ha, Auldheid: well-spotted!
My apologies to the readership , particularly those who support Falkirk FC: it was the other Campbell ( ‘O’ of that ilk) that I meant.
Campbell Christie was a very well respected Trade Unionist whose contribution to bringing the notion of a proper Trade Union into the Civil Service was significant.

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Corrupt officialPosted on5:32 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Decision time for bloo fans…Buy a jersey?. No buy a jersey?…. Maybe a Biff Bop Wallop on the terraces….Oh Dear! 
Maybe a boycott will be on the cards. Maybe no?…Is “Just Joan” still in the paper?…She’ll know what to do. 21

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Cluster OnePosted on5:58 pm - Aug 3, 2016


CORRUPT OFFICIALAUGUST 3, 2016 at 17:32 1 1  Rate This 
Decision time for bloo fans…Buy a jersey?. No buy a jersey?….
———————
If Sports Direct announce there has been a large number of sales.Then what for king? Does he have to sit back and take what he is given,or does he have the money for another court case.

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easyJamboPosted on6:31 pm - Aug 3, 2016


Rangers Club statement

SINCE terminating the IP Licence and Rights Agreement with Rangers Retail Limited, the Club has made its best efforts to engage with PUMA on an agreed way forward without the involvement of Sports Direct for the manufacture of replica kits and other merchandise to supporters.
During discussions it emerged that PUMA had manufactured some replica kit after receiving purchase orders directly from Sports Direct and without the prior knowledge or agreement of the Club and its directors on the Rangers Retail Limited board, Paul Murray and David King. Despite requests to Sports Direct and PUMA we have not been able to ascertain full details of this arrangement or to reconcile it with the commercial contracts that were in place between the Club and Rangers Retail Limited.
The Club has not been party to discussions on the launch of kit sales by PUMA this week. We were first notified of their intentions after close of business on Friday last week.
We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the Club and/or supporters groups prior to the launch.

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easyJamboPosted on6:48 pm - Aug 3, 2016


There are a number of contradictions in the statement above.

First they have ripped up the agreement with RRRL, then they have tried to do a deal with Puma excluding SD. Puma, who is already a business partner of SD, have produced kit at SD’s (and Puma’s?) request. Rangers then complain that they have been excluded from the arrangement which they can’t reconcile with the RRL contract (which they ripped up themselves).

As far as I’m aware TRFC advised that they had terminated a contract with RRL and another involving the licensing of trademarks.  If SD wish to continue using those trademarks then I would think that they are still entitled to do so for as long as the original licensing agreement lasts.  If TRFC wish to stop SD doing that, then they need to apply to a court to break the contracts legally, rather than unilaterally.   

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wottpiPosted on7:16 pm - Aug 3, 2016


The Club has not been party to discussions on the launch of kit sales by PUMA this week. We were first notified of their intentions after close of business on Friday last week.

So from the above the launch is PUMA’s idea.

While the club were clearly in earlier discussions with PUMA re a deal trying to cut out SD, PUMA now appear to have decided to take matters into their own hands. I am sure they won;t have done that on a whim.

That means King has now upset SD and PUMA. Just need Red 32 for the hatrick.

Maybe his plan is to encourage legal challenges and skim off a hefty consultancy fee for any damages won on behalf of the Plc!!!!!!!!!!

PS Puma’s deal with T’Rangers was for five years from 13/14, so they have this season and next still to run.

PPS I note that all three ‘stakeholders’ were still front and centre ( well splashed over the official media backdrop actually) at Warburtons presser the other day.

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Billy BoycePosted on11:10 pm - Aug 3, 2016


If the TRFC directors have in fact torn up the IP Licence and Rights Agreement then surely they would only have done so following sound legal advice.  Equally, Puma and SD would not go ahead with the sales of the new kit without making doubly sure they are on firm ground.
 
Were King & Co to be so confident of being in the right, then the statement would be a one-liner telling the fans a lawyer’s letter was on its way.  In my view the final sentence in the statement says it all; ”We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the Club and/or supporters groups prior to the launch”.
 
By the end of this week SD will have actually stocked its retail outlets with the new kit thus creating a very definite figure to invoice TRFC in due course, should the gear remain unsold.
 
We saw video clips of a previous demonstration by Sons of Struth et al harassing fans attempting to buy Rangers RR goods in the Ibrox superstore.  Should any supporters turn up on the terraces with the new Puma kit, I fear that they will be subject to intimidation and possible violence now that TRFC has issued this statement.  Buying your youngster a £50 jersey just to have it ripped from his back is no laughing matter, not to mention all the hassle he will no doubt receive into the bargain.  I wonder if the Ibrox board think these statements through before issuing them to the fan base.

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John ClarkPosted on11:54 pm - Aug 3, 2016


easyJambo
August 3, 2016 at 18:48
‘… If TRFC wish to stop SD doing that, then they need to apply to a court to break the contracts legally, rather than unilaterally.  ‘
_________
I have to say that I’ve kind of lost where we are in the matter of legal challenges to ‘onerous contracts’ and such like.

All I can remember is that King gave notice that TRFC wished to end the contract, which could only actually be ended after a period of 7 years from the date of such notice.

Were any court proceedings instituted to have that period of notice struck down as being unconscionable and onerous?

Is King acting the goat here, speaking as if he could unilaterally break a contract without being successfully sued?

Is the man mad?

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Johnbud78Posted on6:53 am - Aug 4, 2016


The Puma/SD decision to stock and attempt to sell the shirts seems, to me, to be the logical next step! This situation has to come to a head at some point and in order to do that someone had to make a move. As others have mentioned I am certain they would’ve been briefed by their legal departments and confident they are well within their rights to do so. The statement from the club would seem to suggest this is all legal but not what they want, toys out of pram time again07, or they would’ve just said lawyers are on this and confident of victory.

JC , you make a good point about old uncle Tom 21,  but he must know that he is merely confirming that he is every bit as duplicitous and deceptive as the rest of the SMSM hacks? Personally my integrity is more valuable than a few pieces of silver, but he is one of those who annoy me even more than your chris jacks or mat lyndseys, they are out in the open cheer leading for the new club, TE does it in a sleekit way that gets under my skin!

Keep up the good work guys 04

Oh and I know this is not a CFC site, but they put us through the wringer again, but job done and looking forward to the draw on Friday!

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upthehoopsPosted on7:17 am - Aug 4, 2016


If King is so sure of his position over Sports Direct not being allowed to sell strips why doesn’t he just take out a court injunction to prevent them doing so? Simples.

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ChristyboyPosted on8:55 am - Aug 4, 2016


”We are surprised and disappointed by the lack of consultation with the Club and/or supporters groups prior to the launch”.

You see,  this is what happens when you’ve lost it . You start talking s***e and making remarks like the supporters group were’nt even consulted. You might get them involved in say the colour or the design but the the nitty gritty legal stuff that the club are meant to do, bloody hell !!!  No, this is more ” look what they are all doing to us again and SPORTS DIRECT and PUMA didn’t even tell Club 1872 or wee Sandy on the bus that they were thinking of doing this. Dearie me !!!!!!  The tail is definately trying to wag the The Rangers dog or at least making attempts or being encouraged to.  Or maybe it’s meant to look like that, eh Dave ??????? 

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AllyjamboPosted on9:04 am - Aug 4, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 4, 2016 at 07:17 
If King is so sure of his position over Sports Direct not being allowed to sell strips why doesn’t he just take out a court injunction to prevent them doing so? Simples.
____________

Personally, I preferred the impasse, where no merchandise was being sold, and so no income received, with the continuing prospect of litigation. I suspect King and the rest of the board will be secretly pleased that SD and Puma have acted in this way, and unless TRFC take action themselves, then, at least, the club might save on future court fees. Watch out for a relaxing of the anti-SD stance from all quarters of Ibrox, with club proclamations lessening in their level of rabble rousing while containing the customary bluster, and gradually getting to the stage of encouraging the supporters to buy the merchandise.

I think this latest move is a sign that Ashley, perhaps at the request/insistance of Puma and the sponsors, has decided not to take court action, by saying to Kingco, ‘we’ve pi**ed about long enough, take whatever action you want, we’re selling the strips. If you continue to discourage sales, it’s only going to cost you even more!’

King may well be feeling he’s dodged yet another bullet, with the only danger to TRFC now (from their blocking of sales) is if King doesn’t realise it! 

I hope he doesn’t.

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StevieBCPosted on9:49 am - Aug 4, 2016


“Rangers creditors have received a £2 million cut in potential payouts as the cost of the oldco liquidation has soared.
The bill for the liquidation process which came after Rangers Football Club plc went into administration, has risen by 20 per cent (£2.171 million) in the year since April, last year from £10.7 million to £12.9 million.
This means the payout pot for companies and individuals owed money has dropped from £18.771 million to £16.663 million in one year.
Read more: Rangers ‘surprised and disappointed’ at merchandise development ahead of new kit launch
BDO, liquidators of the Rangers oldco since October, 2012, have pocketed around £800k in the year and have now collected nearly £3m, while not a single creditor has yet been reimbursed.
Key solicitors fees in relation to the liquidation and litigation have risen by £886,299 in the year to currently stand at £7.761million.
Funds from the long-running liquidation process have been devoted to continuing to fight the long-running ‘Big Tax Case’ at the Supreme Court which could have a major bearing on the amount of money given to creditors from the liquidation. Some £152,186 has been spent on counsel costs alone to fight the case.
BDO were successful in an application to the Court of Session in March to be granted leave to make a legal challenge to the highest appeal court in the land.
They sought to contest a Court of Session decision in November that Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) from 2001 until 2010 to give millions of pounds of tax-free loans to players and other staff broke tax rules.
Read more: Rangers ‘surprised and disappointed’ at merchandise development ahead of new kit launch
Liquidators had previously confirmed that £72m of the £94.4m owed to HMRC relies on the taxman’s claim that Rangers was liable for its use of EBTs. Its failure to win that would cut the maximum debt down from around £160m to £96.8m.
The original November EBT judgment meant the taxman, in one of the biggest tax claims it has ever pursued, won its claim Rangers oldco were liable for a £46.2 million plus charges bill over the use of EBTs.
The Supreme Court case is not expected to be heard till 2017.
The judgement will have no financial impact on Rangers because the tax liability remains with the in-liquidation oldco.
BDO have confirmed in it’s latest analysis of the liquidation that it still hopes to be in a position to provide an initial dividend to creditors later this year.
But that is dependent on the status of a legal claim over the payout pot.
The claim made by firms controlled by investment firm Worthington Group plc, launched a year ago meant that an interim £10 million payout to unsecured creditors for July, last year, had to be postponed.”

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14661578.Rangers_creditors_receive___2_million_cut_in_potential_payouts_as_cost_of_oldco_liquidation_soars/

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StevieBCPosted on9:56 am - Aug 4, 2016


“Oops – the section below is part of the ET article.

“BDO have confirmed that the claim on the whole of the creditors’ pot has now been retracted and will be replaced by a new claim of £3 million.
The liquidators say that they intend to be in a position to consider the dividend to creditors once an amended claim is confirmed.
Read more: Rangers ‘surprised and disappointed’ at merchandise development ahead of new kit launch
Worthington Group plc also has control of Sevco 5088, the firm fronted by former Rangers executive Charles Green to buy the the liquidated assets of Rangers in 2012. Worthington said in October, last year that it would stake a claim over Rangers business and assets.
Sevco 5088 was identified by administrators Duff and Phelps as being the newco that was “contractually obliged” to purchase the assets and business of operating company RFC 2012 plc out of administration.
BDO has warned that it was a “complex liquidation containing a number of key areas of investigation, each of which may have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome for creditors”.
It added: “Due to the significant issues to be resolved in the liquidation, the joint liquidators do not expect to be in a position to bring this case to a conclusion for some considerable time.”
Some £5.4 million of the legal costs bill were legal fees incurred over the settlement of a claim against London-based Collyer Bristow the solicitors involved in the takeover of the club by Craig Whyte in May, 2011. The liquidators banked £24 million for Rangers creditors.
BDO said the fees went to London-based legal firm Stephenson Harwood as “it had been necessary to instruct” the company on a ‘no win, no charge’ conditional fee arrangement basis.
The arrangement meant that Stephenson Harwood were entitled to their costs plus an extra 75 to 100 per cent to “compensate them for the risk that they would not get paid if the litigation failed”.

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HomunculusPosted on11:03 am - Aug 4, 2016


BILLY BOYCEAUGUST 3, 2016 at 23:10

————————————————————

In my opinion Rangers Retail (Sports Direct really) are taking the position that they have the exclusive licence to sell official Rangers merchandise (or licence that sale out) anywhere in the World. That however is meaningless without also having the right to use the official crests, badges etc.

They are really saying that Dave King was not capable of removing the right to use those crests etc, as that was effectively breaching a perfectly legal contract. How could you possibly have a meaningful contract which does not provide consent (even if it is not specifically expressed) to use the intellectual property which makes it what it is.

In effect Ashley, with the support of Puma are saying we are selling the merchandise as we are perfectly entitled to do. If you don’t like it try to get an interdict (under English law) and sue us. In the meantime we will sell these items, as we are entitled to.

I believe that Mike Ashley’s lawyers will know more about this field than Rangers’ lawyers. It’s a large part of what he does. 

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Billy BoycePosted on1:16 pm - Aug 4, 2016


Homunculus August 4, 2016 at 11.03 a.m.
———————————————-
 
Following King’s latest statement, a TRFC fan contacted Puma to express his disgust at the kit manufacturer going behind the Club’s back.  He has had this prompt reply:
 
Hi xxx, We are sorry you feel this way. We respect your decision and would like to take the opportunity to let you know that PUMA is releasing replica kits into the market in full compliance with the Sponsorship and Licensing Agreement PUMA has with Rangers Retail Limited (RRL) – (a joint venture between Rangers Football Club (RFC) and Sports Direct plc (SDI)). The kits were actually designed in collaboration with Rangers Football Club over a period of months and final approval was received from the club last year in line with production schedules. The playing kit was delivered to the club, and the players have played all pre-season friendlies in this kit. PUMA’s agreement with RRL remains in full effect. Accordingly, after taking legal advice, PUMA continues to uphold its contract with Rangers Retail Limited and has fulfilled its obligations to manufacture and deliver the kits to the playing and coaching staff, as well as to PUMA’s retail customers with the knowledge of all parties, including RFC.  We wish the team the very best of luck in their return to the Scottish Premiership. It’s set to be an exciting season for both you and the club. Kind regards, PUMA
 
It confirms that Puma did take legal advice and is perfectly entitled to go ahead with the sales of replica kit.  So it looks like it was just more bluff and bluster from King after all.  As this might be the standard Puma response to angry fans, he might need the oily words of Level 5 to explain the true position to them and their supporters groups.

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HomunculusPosted on1:34 pm - Aug 4, 2016


BILLY BOYCEAUGUST 4, 2016 at 13:16

==========================

Looks very much like a standard response. In effect they are saying they have a contract with Rangers Retail and having obtained their own legal advice they are fulfilling that contract. They have not specifically stated it, however any issues over the use of the intellectual property is not their problem (presumably that was what the legal advice was about). One wonders how much business Puma and Mike Ashley does together.

So who sits on the board of Rangers Retail, and would be making the decisions for it.

Cameron Olsen
Unit A, Brook Park East, Shirebrook, United Kingdom, NG20 8RY

Justin Barnes
Unit A, Brook Park East, Shirebrook, United Kingdom, NG20 8RY

Nigel Conway
Unit A, Brook Park East, Shirebrook, United Kingdom, NG20 8RY

David King
Ibrox Stadium, Edminston Drive, Glasgow, United Kingdom, G51 2XD

Paul Murray
Ibrox Stadium, Edminston Drive, Glasgow, United Kingdom, G51 2XD

So SDI hold the A class shares (double votes re anything financial) and they control the board. They are now selling the merchandise with the logos etc, in spite of Dave King’s ludicrous back-handed attempt to nullify their contract.

Thing is, can he / Rangers afford the legal argument, has his lawyers told him he has a good prospect of winning it. I think the lack of an injunction or interdict might be a clue. The next few days may make things clearer. 

However like you I am a bit concerned about anyone actually attending games wearing that shirt. Some of the noises coming from a portion of the support are quite concerning. Kings statements aren’t really helping the situation. Let’s hope it is all just talk.

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wottpiPosted on2:17 pm - Aug 4, 2016


HOMUNCULUSAUGUST 4, 2016 at 13:34

I think the interesting thing is that there is clearly a split in the Rangers fans groups on the strip issue

There appears to be those who are vocal cheerleaders for King and go along with everything he says.
These guys are for the Boycott

There are those who believe themselves to be true RRM and distrust King (Prentendy RRM) and his acolytes.
These guys support a persons right to a personal choice re buying strips or not. The main things they are looking for is that folk are true fans of the club and God help anyone who has a go at a fellow fan for buying and wearing one.

The rest are probably a silent majority (i.e those who simply left the national stadium sharpish feeling the pain of loosing a big football match) who don’t give a hoot about the finances, politics, intellectual property rigths etc and just want to buy a top for themselves and/or the kids and go and watch the football.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there is the odd fool in the first camp who tries to make a big deal of it and some poor football supporter gets hurt.

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Corrupt officialPosted on4:31 pm - Aug 4, 2016


WOTTPIAUGUST 4, 2016 at 14:17
    “I wouldn’t be surprised if there is the odd fool in the first camp who tries to make a big deal of it and some poor football supporter gets hurt”
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
   Coincidentally, those advocating a boycott of official club merchandise sales, appear to have a vested interest in flogging off gear of a less “official” nature. 

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on7:11 pm - Aug 4, 2016


Does the ‘S’ in SPFL stand for supine?

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/rangers/rangers-plan-going-for-55-card-display-for-season-opener-1-4194186

From A. N. Other in the Scotsman, placed on line at 1410hrs today:
::
::

Rangers plan ‘going for 55’ card display for season opener

Rangers are set to begin life back in the Scottish Premiership with a huge card display setting out the club’s intentions for the season ahead.

Before their match with Hamilton this Saturday – the curtain raiser for the 2016/17 Scottish football season – fans in the Sandy Jardine stand will be asked to collectively announce “going for 55” through a card display that will take up half of the Govan end.

It references Rangers’ 54 top flight titles, the last of which occurred in 2011 before the club’s financial meltdown.

The display will occur prior to kick-off, where Rangers will also unfurl the Championship flag having won the second tier last season.

Though Celtic are favourites to make it six Scottish Premiership titles on the trot, Mark Warburton and his players believe they are capable of finishing on top in their first season back.
::
::


Oh for some governance/leadership from Mr. Doncaster. There again, he may be waiting for BDO to intervene (again). I’m 50/50 on whether the display will actually take place.



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upthehoopsPosted on7:25 pm - Aug 4, 2016


Rangers fans who are angry about the merchandise deal with Sports Direct really should take time to think how it came to be. 

They cheered Craig Whyte up Edminston Drive, foolishly believing the media bullshit about his personal wealth, and what it meant for Rangers. When Whyte was exposed as a Charlatan by his own deeds, they then bought into Charles Green and his anti-everything rhetoric. Green fleeced them big style and promised them the earth. Yet so determined were they to get it right up the rest of Scottish football with their ‘world record’ lower league crowds, they never once thought of looking under the bonnet to see exactly what was going on.  Green would not rest until the SFA were defeated, and Ally had a ten year deal.  As they lapped up his words, eagerly peddled by supportive media hacks, he was quietly setting up what appears to be a legally tight deal with Sports Direct. Instead of raging against the unfairness of it all, perhaps they should be more questioning of those in power. let’s face it, by saying nothing they could end up with all sorts calling the shots, even a convicted criminal tax evader…oh wait a minute!

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valentinesclownPosted on8:43 pm - Aug 4, 2016


upthehoopsAugust 4, 2016 at 07:17 40 1  Rate This 
If King is so sure of his position over Sports Direct not being allowed to sell strips why doesn’t he just take out a court injunction to prevent them doing so? Simples.
————————————————————–

I agree. Also it is alright for   the players to wear the tops (with crests) but not ok for the fans? Taps oan Taps aff? In Dave we trust.
NOMAD he is no  mad.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:32 pm - Aug 4, 2016


Billy Boyce

August 4, 2016 at 13:16

Homunculus August 4, 2016 at 11.03 a.m.
———————————————-

Following King’s latest statement, a TRFC fan contacted Puma to express his disgust at the kit manufacturer going behind the Club’s back. He has had this prompt reply:

Hi xxx, We are sorry you feel this way. We respect your decision and would like to take the opportunity to let you know that PUMA is releasing replica kits into the market in full compliance with the Sponsorship and Licensing Agreement PUMA has with Rangers Retail Limited (RRL) – (a joint venture between Rangers Football Club (RFC) and Sports Direct plc (SDI)). The kits were actually designed in collaboration with Rangers Football Club over a period of months and final approval was received from the club last year in line with production schedules. The playing kit was delivered to the club, and the players have played all pre-season friendlies in this kit. PUMA’s agreement with RRL remains in full effect. Accordingly, after taking legal advice, PUMA continues to uphold its contract with Rangers Retail Limited and has fulfilled its obligations to manufacture and deliver the kits to the playing and coaching staff, as well as to PUMA’s retail customers with the knowledge of all parties, including RFC. We wish the team the very best of luck in their return to the Scottish Premiership. It’s set to be an exciting season for both you and the club. Kind regards, PUMA

It confirms that Puma did take legal advice and is perfectly entitled to go ahead with the sales of replica kit. So it looks like it was just more bluff and bluster from King after all. As this might be the standard Puma response to angry fans, he might need the oily words of Level 5 to explain the true position to them and their supporters groups.
_________________________

You know, Billy, in publishing that letter, you have been more informative of the behind the scenes goings on at Ibrox than any single member of the SMSM has managed to be since Mark Daley did his ‘The Men Who Sold The Jerseys’!

When you think of all the nonsense that has been written over the past 5 years, the deflections and downright lies, to read something that is so authoritative it makes you wonder why no one from the media thought to contact Puma for their side of the story. But, of course, as far as the SMSM are concerned, there is only one side of any story involving a club from Ibrox!

I’m sure, had anyone contacted Puma to ask for their side, even if they’d been unable at the time to say much, that they’d have been delighted to have contacted the inquisitive journalist with the chance to publish what they say in the letter before having to make individual responses to raging bears. Not only would it have given them the opportunity to get the word out to a wider audience, it would have been the free publicity all manufacturers crave!

But, as I say, the SMSM only want to publish what TRFC want them to publish, and heaven forbid if any journalist might suggest that Puma, and, dare I say, SDI, are acting perfectly within their rights!

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John ClarkPosted on1:25 am - Aug 5, 2016


AllyjamboAugust 4, 2016 at 21:32
‘……it makes you wonder why no one from the media thought to contact Puma for their side of the story..’
______
It is axiomatic, and it’s a plain everyday experience of everybody’s life, that there are at least two sides to every story.
And it was always the general understanding that ‘journalists’ believed themselves to be bound to reflect that fact, even if they supported one side of the story. 
That it appears that no one in our SMSM even asked Puma for a comment is proof positive that the SMSM ( i.e. individuals like English, and McIntyre, and Halliday, and Aidan Smith , and …. the whole bloody lot of them) are so derelict in their duty as ‘journalists’ as to deserve all the opprobrium that we quite rightly heap upon them-as being even worse than the baddies of the Liquidated RFC and the’ worser’ baddies of the Football Authorities.
The badness of the baddies is very bad indeed. The badness of those who were in a position to deal with the baddies is very much worse.
But the badness of those who for whatever personal gain are prepared to write in newspapers their support of those badnesses is way off the scale of badness.
Very, very bad cess to them.
( If your man in Turkey has as much justification for arresting’ journalists’ for being lying, deceitful propagandists as we have , more power to his elbow!
We (or, maybe, just me) have as much reason to be distrustful of  the SMSM in relation to the ‘saga’ as he has in relation to the internal politics of Turkey.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:52 am - Aug 5, 2016


Reasonable article from today’s Scotsman. What a pity it’s taken so long for someone in the MSM to seriously question  the role of David Murray in the demise of Rangers. 

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/footba…ally-1-4194690
Bringing the tale of the Old Firm up to date is to bring it to an end, in the eyes of some. Top-flight football will return to Ibrox for the first time in four years tomorrow when Rangers host Hamilton. But the extent to which the club can be considered the same as the one which was liquidated in 2012 remains a source of fierce debate. Some contend it is a new club and the term Old Firm is obsolete. Yet, the current version of Rangers – and the name of the team never changed legally – is spiritually connected with the 1872 club, and so builds upon that original club’s history.

The financial implosion which caused Rangers to start again in the fourth tier in 2012 led to an unprecedented level of bitterness and acrimony, even for a Scottish game marinated in such poisons. The schisms about old and new Rangers were then fuelled by the authorities’ desperate attempts to protect one of their cash cows by attempting to allow Rangers to regroup in the First Division after the top-flight clubs voted overwhelmingly against allowing them straight back into the Premier League. Only an uprising en masse among supporters of other teams, who threatened to withdraw the financial lifelines that their custom provided to their own clubs, prevented that.

To understand the antipathy towards Rangers then is to recognise what caused the Ibrox club’s 2012 demise. The blame for ruining Rangers is often laid at the door of Craig Whyte, whose purchase of David Murray’s shareholding – for £1 – the previous year set in motion a train of events that led to Rangers calling in the administrators, Duff and Phelps, in February that year. Whyte is currently facing fraud charges for his dealings at Rangers. The non-payment of PAYE and VAT during his short reign brought about administration – and the docking of ten points midway through the 2011-12 season. It ended with a £5.5m asset sale to Charles Green before creditors – chief among them HMRC – voted against a Company Voluntary Arrangement. By doing so they condemned The Rangers Football Club Plc to liquidation, with Green transferring the assets to a company that took the name of Sevco.

But Rangers’ demise has its roots in David Murray’s stewardship. The entrepreneur enjoyed an eye-watering credit facility with the Bank of Scotland. It allowed Rangers to operate with frightening debt levels; racked up in part to keep ahead of a Celtic revitalised by Fergus McCann and in part to make a European breakthrough under then manager Dick Advocaat. Yet, even the bank’s generosity had its limits. Their desire for Murray to show some fiscal responsibility in running his football club caused him to seek other ways of inflating Rangers’ pulling power for players. Initially, he sought the ‘tax efficiency’ of a Discounted Share Option scheme to attract world-renowned players such as Ronald de Boer. The DSO scheme did not stand up to scrutiny, and by the end of the decade the club were facing a bill of around £4m for what later became known as the ‘wee tax case’. However, in seeking to redefine their tax efficiencies after the ill-fitting DSO scheme and gain more bang for their buck by limiting players’ exposure to income tax and national insurance, Murray marched Rangers into a minefield blindfolded. The use of Employee Benefit Trusts proved ruinous to the club. These EBTs were set up to take the appearance of discretionary loans that made them therefore not subject to tax. After the bank turned off Murray’s credit tap, there was a flood of EBTs as a payment method for players and management at the Ibrox club. Right through the financial crash of 2008, when Celtic were proving expensive to keep up with as champions. HMRC sought to address the EBT loophole and billed Rangers for £40m, the sum they calculated – with interest – was owed to the Revenue. They did so after finding the club uncooperative in providing paperwork that might have related to this, side-letters they were sure existed but that Rangers denied knowledge of. Side-letters that players required to ensure they had written financial 
obligations from the club for nominal loans.

The crux of all the grief subsequently visited upon Rangers lies in the use, and administering, of these EBTs. A first tier tribunal in 2012 found in Rangers’ favour and adjudged that the sums placed in the trusts were not subject to tax. Two years later an upper tribunal largely upheld the decision. But HMRC appealed successfully to the Court of Session last year where three judges said it was “common sense” to see the monies placed in the trusts as salary payments. Currently the case is before the Supreme Court for a final ruling. If the Supreme Court decides that EBTs contravened tax law, then the ramifications could be profound. Not for the current Rangers in a financial sense – the incorporated company of the current Ibrox club has no liabilities for anything before its 2012 creation – but in a football sense.

The side-letters created for dozens of players to service the EBT scheme were not lodged with the football authorities. A commission into this improper registering of players in 2013 found that Rangers had “deliberately” failed to register side-letter holding players with the SFA. Chair of the commission Lord Nimmo Smith posited at that time that no sporting advantage had been gained by the club, and therefore there wasn’t a question of a sporting sanction. Should the Court of Session’s decision be backed by the Supreme Court then there will likely be a clamour for sporting sanctions to be imposed.

That could yet be another bitter aspect of Murray’s legacy, with the pursuit of Rangers by HMRC having made it unsellable before “turnaround specialist” Whyte entered the scene… supposedly as a billionaire with wealth off the radar.

It almost seems a postscript to consider what was happening to Celtic as Rangers restarted in the fourth tier in 2012. The Parkhead club did as their financial muscle guaranteed they would do, and that was rack up titles. They are now halfway towards their pursuit of a record ten in a row.

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StevieBCPosted on9:55 am - Aug 5, 2016


Re: the TRFC PUMA strip shambles.
The Ibrox club is now ”making friends’ amongst kit manufacturers ?

Re: “Going for 55”.
The Ibrox club continues to antagonise the rest of Scottish football.

We might soon be pining for the ‘good old days’ – when there was no Ibrox team in the top league…  20

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Corrupt officialPosted on9:56 am - Aug 5, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 5, 2016 at 06:52
    “Reasonable article from today’s Scotsman.”
    ——————————————————————————————-
 WTF? …..On the day I am due to return to Scotland I appear to have woken up in a parallel dimension? I notice there is still a hint of pandering to the deluded though. 
    “Some contend it is a new club”……Should that not be, “Some contend it is the same club”?, as he does go on to say “and so builds upon that original club’s history”. Ergo, for there to be an “original club”, there must be another club.  
   Its a small point, but in an otherwise good article, a point that rankles. 
   From the judiciary, to company law, to common sense, and even the occasional “slip” by the SMSM in calling them Sevco,  to UEFA, to almost every football fan in Scotland, and even in the SFA application of “new club” conditions imposed upon them, they are a new club. ……Even some Pretendygers themselves agree. One of them arguably Scotland’s premier QC ! 
   Those who “contend it is the same club”, are in the minority. Very vocal, but largely derided, and demonstrably wrong. 

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StevieBCPosted on10:20 am - Aug 5, 2016


UPTHEHOOPSAUGUST 5, 2016 at 06:52 
Reasonable article from today’s Scotsman. What a pity it’s taken so long for someone in the MSM to seriously question  the role of David Murray in the demise of Rangers. 
http://www.scotsman.com/sport/footba…ally-1-4194690  …
=======================================

This just smacks of The Hootsman doing some damage limitation after the shockingly poor PR piece it published recently about the ‘return’ of the Old Firm – and which included Doncaster’s ridiculous quotes going unchallenged.
The paper got pelters in the Comments section.
But that PR nonsense article was not accredited to anyone from the paper.

However, this ‘reasonable’ article is accredited,, to one Andrew Smith.
[Did Andrew Smith also produce the previous article as well ?]

…so can we infer that ‘sports journalists’ know full well how poor the articles they produce – or copy/paste – are, but can then just choose to remain anonymous…but for those ‘reasonable’ articles they are happy to add their name to get the credit ? 

Sleekit !  191919

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SmugasPosted on10:40 am - Aug 5, 2016


Credit where its due (the Scotsman), that’s a decent stab at it – as thorough a going over of the various elements as I’ve seen.  The author is no stranger to SFM I suspect.

There are clearly a number of lawyer/editor revisions in there if you look closely but relative to the waffle produced previously I’ll give it pass-marks. 

One comment I would have (I could nit pick several as others will do) is the automatic assumption that Successful Supreme Appeal = LNS revisited = sporting sanctions (which could only mean titles).  I don’t consider that particular route as automatic if for no other reason than if you present it as such it will be doomed to failure before it begins.    

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shugPosted on10:47 am - Aug 5, 2016


http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-puma-division-lays-down-the-law-to-sevco/

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shugPosted on11:11 am - Aug 5, 2016


CL draw taking place

LUDOGORETS V VIKTORIA PLZEN

CELTIC V HAPOEL BE’ER SHEVA

FC COPENHAGEN V APOEL FC

YOUNG BOYS V BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH

AJAX V ROSTOV

PORTO V ROMA

DUNDALK V LEGIA WARSAW

DINAMO ZAGREB V RED BULL SALZBURG

VILLARREAL V MONACO

STEAUA BUCHAREST V MANCHESTER CITY

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shugPosted on11:17 am - Aug 5, 2016


Champions route:
DINAMO ZAGREB V RED BULL SALZBURG
DUNDALK V LEGIA WARSAW
FC COPENHAGEN V APOEL FC
CELTIC V HAPOEL BE’ER SHEVA
LUDOGORETS V VIKTORIA PLZEN

League route:

VILLARREAL V MONACO

YOUNG BOYS V BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH

AJAX V ROSTOV

PORTO V ROMA

STEAUA BUCHAREST V MANCHESTER CITY

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John ClarkPosted on11:42 am - Aug 5, 2016


Rangers Football Club of 1872 is in Liquidation. The new club’s  legal name is  “The Rangers Football Club”, having been previously Rangers 2012 and before that SevcoScotland….
How dare Andrew Smith mislead folk by uttering such drivel as  ”..and the name of the team never changed legally’?
That is a blatantly incorrect statement, for which he must be made to apologise.

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SmugasPosted on12:27 pm - Aug 5, 2016


JC

See my comment above re lawyer/editor revisions.

I’d put my substantial mortgage on that having read ‘club’ in the original draft. 

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easyJamboPosted on3:37 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Sports Direct have just published their full results for the year to 26 April 2016.

http://www.sportsdirectplc.com/~/media/Files/S/Sports-Direct/annual-report/2016-annual-report-accounts.pdf

The sales figure for Rangers Retail was £2,076,000, down from £3,834,000 the previous year.

Those figures are what SD sold to Rangers Retail, not what Rangers Retail earned from the goods.

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easyJamboPosted on4:00 pm - Aug 5, 2016


The Independent Report into the events following the Scottish Cup Final is due to be published later today according to the Record.

Time for a bigger carpet at SFA Towers.

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AuldheidPosted on4:04 pm - Aug 5, 2016


John Clark
I read that and thought the use of “team” was deliberate in that we all know the difference between a team and a club or club/company.
A team is what fans most identify with week to week and I would never argue that spiritually supporters of The Rangers are wrong to see the team as providing that spiritual continuity.
Also having had a few exchanges with the author in the past  I can understand him using that term in that regard.
However as a result of those exchanges I find it interesting that the narrative is a lot closer to the truth than I would have expected to see from the author.
Not  necessarily a Road to Damascus conversion but a greater understanding of the underlying cause (no accountability of any of the parties in spite of the damage caused) as to why many supporters of other clubs are so pissed off at the alternative narrative which is being rammed down our throats.
We need more focus on the years from 2000 to 2011 to deal with that lack of accountability and how continuing structures of governance enable it. In short there has to be some independent oversight of the game and supporters must be part of it.
The lead blog points out that NOTHING has been done by SFA, SPFL the media and the SG, who might not want to interfere but surely have some responsibility for protecting an industry that employs thousands, from itself.
I think a political locus needs to be added to supporter efforts to clean out, then clean up the game.

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Big PinkPosted on4:58 pm - Aug 5, 2016


EasyJambo

Re. SD accounts. I imagine the downturn in sales is a result of the club being less ebullient in their estimates of shirt sales.

Or perhaps, given the withdrawal of cooperation from Ibrox, does this denote the minimum purchase required under the contract?

And is there any way of knowing whether Rangers Retail actually PAID for the merchandise?

Also, any thoughts on how they would manage to pay if – given the refusal to sell merchandise – there was no money in the RR kitty to pay for them?

If I were a journo, and off the top of my head, I’d be asking some of those questions to dig a little deeper into the back story here. On the face of it, it looks as though SD’s financial relationship with RR has gone through the floor, but in the circumstances where TRFC are complaining that the contract is an onerous one, is it possible that TRFC will incur penalties?

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easyJamboPosted on4:59 pm - Aug 5, 2016


The Independent Report is out.

http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=1961&newsCategoryID=3&newsID=16434

http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/Documents/ScottishCupFinal2016Report/Scottish%20Cup%20Final%202016%20Commission%20of%20Enquiry%20-%20Report%20of%20SP%20Bowen.pdf

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easyJamboPosted on5:13 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Big Pink  August 5, 2016 at 16:58
————————–
As far as I am aware RIFC / TRFC don’t pay anything for stock. The money to pay for merchandise is paid for from sales by Rangers Retail.  I expect that is why there has been a lag in dividend payments while SD ensures that they receive all that they are due.  That includes payment for stock, “unsold stock” and termination of leases for unprofitable stores.  The retained profit to April 2013 was £434K and for the year to April 2015 was £860K (before dividends)

The conditions on “unsold stock” are probably remnants from the initial deal agreed with Green. We know from their accounts that they paid £411,000 for unsold stock in the 2014/15 financial year. That would only be the retail price of around 10,000 shirts.  I recall seeing the minutes of a Rangers Fans Forum meeting with Derek Llambias,  Llambias stated that Charles Green wanted to order 400,000 shirts. He was told that was unrealistic, but settled on 200,000.  In the event 75,000 went unsold. That would work out around £5.50 a shirt, which would be close to the manufacturing cost, which sounds like a much more realistic proposition.  There was no outstanding liability mentioned in TRFC 2015 accounts.

The reality is that no-one outside SD or the club knows the finer details of the agreement, including PMGB.

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easyJamboPosted on5:42 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Rangers less than pleased about the Independent Report

RANGERS will take time to consider fully the findings of the report into the pitch invasion by Hibernian supporters at the end of the Scottish Cup final and make further comment at the appropriate time.
At present we wish to do nothing that might detract from the team’s first match back in Scottish football’s top flight. We can state however that we will be seeking an urgent meeting with the author of the report, Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen, the Scottish FA’s Chief Executive Stewart Regan and his Compliance Officer, Tony McGlennan.
It is imperative that we gain insight into the underlying basis for the findings in the report given that we consider it contains a number of factual inaccuracies and contradictions. It is right that the Club gives the author and requisitioner of the report the opportunity to comment on our concerns prior to making a conclusive statement.
It is to be hoped that the Scottish FA, as they begin considering this report and the appropriate punishments, remember vividly what actually occurred on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the National Stadium when Hibernian fans were allowed to invade the field of play and attack Rangers players and staff, who were offered little protection.     

The report doesn’t really blame anyone other than around 200 each of Hibs and Rangers fans Hibs fans for starting the problem and Rangers fans for responding to it.

The authorities seem to have been absolved of any blame.

There are a few minor recommendations aimed at reducing the likelihood of fans entering the pitch and ensuring the safety of players and disabled fans.

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Kilgore TroutPosted on5:53 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Just filling in the obvious transcription error on that statement.

“It is to be hoped that the Scottish FA, as they begin considering this report and the appropriate punishments, remember vividly our agreed narrative rather than what actually occurred on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the National Stadium….”

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Big PinkPosted on6:17 pm - Aug 5, 2016


EJ

On a cursory reading, I can’t really see much to disagree with in the Independent Report. Couple of things on either side that might serve to split a hair or three;

1. TRFC will be understandably cheesed off that the Fotheringham incident is characterised as a ‘confrontation’. To my eyes, that was an assault – and a terrifying and unnecessary experience for the player. What you do about if of course I get hold of the arse who did it and haul him up before the courts;

2. Report accuses Hibs fans who went beyond the halfway line of provocation, and notes the Hibs’ players’ interaction with the fans at the goal celebrations effect on state of mind of said Hibs’ fans; but whilst acknowledging that more resources were deployed at the West end of the stadium because of sectarian singing at that location, doesn’t consider what provocation may have arisen from that.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:26 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Just listened to the first 20 minutes of Radio Clyde while in the shower.  Wow, wow and triple wow listening to them discuss the Scottish Cup Final report.  I wish they had been so quick to challenge ‘inaccuracies’ n other SFA reports. You know,  the ones that contravene liquidation law and that kind of thing.

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easyJamboPosted on6:43 pm - Aug 5, 2016


One particular omission from the report that I picked up on was any reference to damage to property within the stadium.  We know from TV coverage and photographic evidence that the goalposts at the Hibs end were destroyed and sections of turf were dug up.  There were also reports that some electronic advertising boards were damaged.

I don’t know if Mr Bowen’s TOR restricted investigations or if the Compliance Officer will cover these points separately, but the report does refer to Violent Conduct as “actual, attempted or threatened physical violence against a person or persons or intentional damage to property.”  He does mention actual threats to people elsewhere in the report, but nothing about damage to property.
 

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Carfins FinestPosted on6:43 pm - Aug 5, 2016


https://twitter.com/Martin1Williams/status/761613275758854144
Someone not happy with todays report. Sectarian singing mentioned…

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goosygoosyPosted on7:13 pm - Aug 5, 2016


Have the  BBC been banned from Celtic Park?
They devoted one sentence to the CL draw in their evening news bulletin which said Celtic had been drawn against Be-er Sheva of Israel
That was it
They didn’t  even include the match dates or venues
Disgraceful

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